The usefulness of artificial neural nets stems from their ability to self‐adjust, or in some sense “learn”. In modern studies, the emphasis on powerful self‐organisation is less strong, but the early viewpoint is defended here as potentially useful. Possible extension of neural net capability to “symbolic” processing is related to Minsky’s “heuristic connection” and to Pask’s view of learning as necessarily involving reformulation of information in a new language. Relevance is demonstrated to the “Boxes” scheme of Michie and Chambers and recent developments in reinforcement learning.
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